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Svitjodbreen in Fuglefjord

360° Panorama

Deep in Fuglefjord („Bird bay“), the­re is Svit­jod­breen, a qui­te impres­si­ve gla­cier with many crev­as­ses and a migh­ty cal­ving cliff that is often qui­te acti­ve, as indi­ca­ted by the many ber­gy bits, grow­lers and smal­ler ice­bergs that are often drif­ting the­re.

The gla­cier is retrea­ting stron­gly: near to its front, the­re is a small rocky island which did not exist 10 years ago (time of wri­ting: 2015), but it was cove­r­ed by the gla­cier. Initi­al­ly, rocks beca­me visi­ble at the lower edge of the ice cliffs some years ago, beco­m­ing big­ger and big­ger over time until they were iso­la­ted from the gla­cier and com­ple­te­ly sur­roun­ded with water. Then, they were still cove­r­ed with iso­la­ted towers of gla­cier ice, which mel­ted and disap­peared over a few years, so I could ven­ture for a short lan­ding on this small, unna­med island. The distance from the island to the gla­cier was several hund­red metres, so the­re was no risk with the boat near­by. But it loo­ked qui­te dra­ma­tic from the ship, as the pho­to below taken by Nadi­ne shows. If anyo­ne has been on this island befo­re? Pro­bab­ly yes. You should never think you have done some­thing for the first time in Spits­ber­gen, someo­ne has almost always been the­re befo­re.

The­re is alrea­dy an even youn­ger island clo­se to the gla­cier, which was in 2015 still cove­r­ed with a tower of iso­la­ted gla­cier ice. And more rocks are com­ing out under the ice.

Thanks to Cap­tain Joa­chim for making this pos­si­ble, to Nadi­ne for the pho­to and to Moritz for dri­ving the boat – if you look clo­se­ly, you can see that he was rea­ding a book, which tur­ned out to be my Spits­ber­gen gui­de­book, how cool is that 😉

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last modification: 2019-04-19 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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